In this post, we are going to discuss how to install Chrome OS Flex to give your old Windows PC and Mac a second life.
What happens to your old PC or Mac after you buy a newer device? I am the type of person who prefers giving to selling things so I will keep my old laptop or give it away rather than sell it. The problem is that my old laptop is getting slower even though I had to upgrade the RAM to 8 GB and change the HDD to SSD. As you know that every OS update somehow makes the laptop performance become slower due to new features it brings.
However, it will be a bit shameful to give a half-work laptop to others. So I browsed the internet in order to find out what I can do to make my old laptop faster again. And Chrome OS Flex comes as the best and cheapest solution. That’s why you should install it too on your old Windows or Mac laptop.
Thus, here we will discuss:
- What Chrome OS Flex is
- Its benefits
- How to Install Chrome OS Flex
- The differences between Chrome OS Flex and Chromebook
Check them out!
What is Chrome OS Flex?
Chrome OS Flex is a new web-based Operating System from Google that is built for schools and businesses. It has full support with Google services and apps. It means you can use all Google Suites like Docs, Slides, Spreadsheets, Drive, YouTube, and many more.
It’s also safe to say that Chrome OS Flex is quite similar to Chromebook in terms of display and functions. The only difference is Chrome OS Flex can be installed on any old laptop as long as they meet the system requirements. Meanwhile, Chromebooks can only be installed on specific laptops.
However, this OS is still on a developer version which means it still has bugs. Google claimed that it will release the final version in a couple of months. But, in my experience, this version is quite stable for basic use.
Why you should install Chrome OS Flex
Here are several benefits that Chrome OS Flex has offered:
Chrome OS Flex is available for free. Google wants you to prolong the life of your old laptops so that you can reduce the e-waste.
How long did your old laptop take to boot up? I bet you can make a cup of coffee and enjoy a movie on Netflix while waiting for it to boot (just kidding).
Chrome OS Flex is incredibly fast. When I tried to boot my old laptop, it took less than 10 seconds to get into the home screen. That’s pretty amazing for an old laptop.
3. Great Security
Chrome OS Flex is very secure. Forget the antivirus software because it will only slow down your machine. Google has provided regular security updates to protect you from viruses, ransomware, and phishing.
It uses sandboxing technology as well as Google Safe Browsing which will prevent you against any threats.
The following are several things you need to prepare before you install Chrome OS Flex on to your old PC and Mac:
1. Reliable internet connection
You will need to connect to the internet to create a bootable USB flash drive. So, make sure that your internet connection is stable and fast.
2. Google Chrome web browser
Make sure that your computer has the current Google Chrome web browser installed. If you don’t have one, you can install Chrome browser in advance.
3. USB flash drive
Provide at least an 8 GB USB flash drive to create a Chrome OS Flex bootable disk.
As an alternative, you can use an SD card to replace the USB flash drive. But make sure that the computer which you are going to install Chrome OS Flex has a built-in SD card slot.
All content in the USB flash drive will be erased. So, you need to back up before using it.
4. Old Windows PC or Mac
Here are the Chrome OS Flex’s system requirements that you need to know:
- Processor: Intel or AMD x86-64-bit
- RAM: 4 GB or more
- HDD: 16 GB
- Bootable from USB flash drive
- Full administrator BIOS access (You will make some adjustment to be able to boot from the USB flash drive)
- Graphic card or processor before 2010 might not give the best experience. Intel GMA 500, 600, 3600, and 3650 graphic cards are not compatible with Chrome OS Flex.
Or, you can also check the supported Windows and Mac laptops to see if yours is on the list.
Once everything is set, scroll down to see the installation guide.
How to Install Chrome OS Flex on Your Old PC and Mac
Step 1 Install Chromebook Recovery Utility extension
1. Launch Chrome web browser on your Windows or Mac laptop.
2. Visit Chrome web store and search Chromebook Recovery Utility.
3. Click Add to Chrome.
4. Click Add extension to confirm.
Step 2 Create a USB Bootable Installer
1. Click the Extensions icon at the top right of your Chrome browser beside the address bar.
2. Select Chromebook Recovery Utility to open it.
3. Click Get started to create a recovery media for your Chromebook.
4. On the Identify your Chromebook window, click Select a model from a list.
5. Select a manufacturer and scroll down to find Google Chrome OS Flex.
6. Move to Select a product and choose Chrome OS Flex (Developer-Unstable). Click Continue.
7. Connect your USB flash drive to your computer.